Wrenching Saturday :)

Well I had a few issues with the Bumblebee earlier this week, so I had parked it until I could work on it this weekend.  Then the clutch cable on my Motorcycle broke and I had to do just enough to be able to drive back and forth to work.

Today I dug in and did a lot of the maintenance items needed after sitting for six years.  The issues I was having with rough running and stalling was all due to vacuum leaks, like 8 or 9 of them :P  I went through and plugged and taped and cut out bad sections and got everything all sealed up for now.  It's going to require a trip to O'Reillys to replace every single hose I can find.  I'm basically going to park, pull a hose and get a new one and install it and continue until I've replaced every hose I can get to.  The only ones that are still in really good shape are the radiator hoses.  But that's because I bought some really heavy duty ones that are generic and weren't pre-bent and I think they are holding up better because they have accordian joints that allow them to flex instead of stressing.

I also replaced the thermostat, another thing I just wanted to replace that was cheap and quick, or so I thought.  The first thing was I had to remove the fan belt to get to the lower bolt.  Then as I was removing the lower bolt *POP* the head snapped right off.  Needless to say this was not an encouraging event!!  I pulled the housing off and to my joy discovered that there was almost 1/2" of bolt protuding from the block.  I tried to turn it with a vise grip and it stripped the bolt a bit.  I stopped and sprayed penetrator on the bolt, and also noticed one of the reasons it broke.  There was gasket sealant all gooped around the bolt, so I scraped it all off and let it sit for a good long while.

I pulled my radiator fan because it was shaking like the devil, and I thought a blade had broke.  Turns out a mud wasp nest is not good for a spinning fan.  After knocking it off and cleaning the mud away the fan no longer shakes and was reinstalled with very little fuss.  I also adjusted the thermostat down a bit to make the fan cut on earlier than it used too.

Back to the thermostat bolt, and with a little judicious application of a vise grip the bolt came right out.  I went to Home Depot and got some new zinc plated grade 8 bolts with new split washers, then cleaned out all the gasket sealant from the bolt holes.  Installed the gasket with the smallest of beads of sealant and bolted everything back up.

I also got my A/F ratio meter installed, and at first I was just going to use it to adjust the carb and not mount it.  But reading the instructions of the meter it has a data logger!!! It also came with all the cables to hook the meter up to a laptop, along with a disc with the software for downloading data and updating the firmware.  The bung welded in really well, and it was a snap routing the wires.  I made a small sheet metal bracket to mount the gauge until I can print a nice one for it.

I really like having the gauge because it lets me see what is happening with the engine and it was much easier to get it dialed in well enough to be my daily driver again.  Tomorrow I think I'm going to go through all the adjustment and setup for the carb and get it exactly right once I've replaced all the vacuum hoses.

It's so satisfying to work on my Jeep, and I remember why I like it so much :)